Pilot Educational Programme will Pair Trinity with Oxford Primary School

16 January 2022

Trinity will be one of five Oxford University colleges to take part in a new pilot to address educational inequality in Oxford’s primary schools run by Oxford Hub, a local volunteering charity.

The college will welcome children, families and teachers from a twinned primary school to become part of the college’s community, benefiting from extracurricular activities and academic support.

Trinity College already serves as a link college for the region of Oxfordshire, providing a range of outreach activity and resources alongside the programmes run with local schools by the University’s central Outreach teams and its divisions, departments, museums, gardens, and collections. The new initiative is targeted specifically at primary school pupils in a set of schools in particularly disadvantaged areas of Oxford.

Twinning will provide primary schools with access to college facilities and activities led by university students, like singing in the college chapel, workshops with academic tutors and lunches in the dining hall.

Colleges will also provide primary pupils with one-to-one academic support through Schools Plus, Oxford Hub’s free tutoring programme. Set up in 2009 to tackle educational inequality in Oxford, Schools Plus matches local children with volunteer tutors, often Oxford University students, to help them achieve their academic potential. The Twinning Programme builds on Schools Plus’s successes in supporting University students to share academic excellence across the city.

The scheme will match Trinity with St Christopher’s School in East Oxford; St John’s, New, Somerville, and Exeter Colleges with be twinned Rose Hill, Woodfarm, St Frideswide, and John Henry Newman Primary Schools respectively.

Hannah Rolley, Trinity’s Head of Access, says: ‘We are very pleased to be taking part of this ambitious pilot as part of Trinity’s wider work supporting Oxford schools. Our work isn’t just about encouraging more secondary-school applicants to Oxford, but ensuring that students of all ages have the support to realise their potential, and making the resources and expertise of the university available to local schools, students and families to combat educational inequality on the University’s doorstep.’

Jan Royall, Principal of Somerville College and Chair of Oxford University’s Conference of Colleges, says of the initiative:

‘This pilot has the potential to create real and lasting relationships between colleges and local schools, raising aspirations, bringing the University and local community closer together and reducing educational inequality in our city. I am delighted that Somerville, which has always championed equality alongside academic excellence, will have the opportunity to build on its existing relationship with St Frideswide Primary.’